For many, Aftertime preparations are relegated to securing a safe location, gathering vital essentials and do not include provisions for generating electrical power.  While this isn't imperative for survival, it will be required for optimum vegetable cultivation, radio communication, among other quality of life improvements.  Although many are hoping to be deemed worthy of receiving a perpetual power pack, there's no telling when or even IF this can be expected.

 

Some may be able to rely on their ability to generate power from salvaging Aftertime wreckage, but most of us cannot.  This discussion is offered for those intending to generate power in the Aftertime and wanting to learn more.  Anyone currently living off-grid or with expertise generating and storing power is encouraged to share their ideas on reliable alternatives in an Aftertime environment.

 

COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS

 

There's much to be said regarding human powered generators in the context of an Aftertime scenario.  Most commercially available human-powered generators involve either a stationary bicycle that utilizes legs for pedaling or a hand crank mechanism that utilizes the upper body. Since a human is only capable of producing relatively low RPMs, power output is likewise limited.  And while pedaling a stationary bike for an hour currently may not be overly taxing, when your day is comprised of chopping wood, carrying water, and other physically exhausting activities - and you're borderline malnourished, this may not be a realistic option. Before exploring other alternatives for generating power, it's important to clarify some common misconceptions:

 

Misconception 1:  "I can salvage an alternator from a car or truck and generate power, right?"

 

Not easily. Most vehicle alternators start producing power at RPMs far greater than humans can achieve without substantial mechanical gearing to increase the alternator speed.  While vehicle alternators can be modifed to generate power at lower RPMs, this involves replacing the existing stator windings with windings that have more turns of smaller gauge wire, which is no small feat.

 

Using a vehicle alternator to harness wind power is also problematic. A car alternator is designed to be lightweight and operate at very high RPM. Since it won't produce useable power below 1000 RPM, ordinary wind turbine blades mounted on the shaft will spin relatively slowly and not produce useable power. While you can attempt to compensate for this speed mismatch by introducing gearing, rewinding the stator coils, or even using shorter blades, you'll find these laborious efforts only result in a wind generator that is clumsy, inefficient, and produces little power.

Also, you have to remove and bypass the internal voltage regulator if your battery is not right next to the alternator. So unless you have the battery mounted on top the tower, the voltage at the alternator will be higher than the battery voltage due to resistance in the wiring and the regulator will start to limit the voltage output before the battery begins charging properly. All in all, trying to use a vehicle alternator is a bad idea.

 

Misconception 2:  "I can hook up any Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) to a stationary bike and generate sufficient power to charge my battery bank, right?"

 

Not necessarily.  Even PMGs advertised as "Low RPM" that reportedly generate voltage and current at any RPM need to be evaluated based on your ability to turn the generator fast enough to charge your batteries.  If you're trying to charge a 12V battery and you can't pedal fast enough to generate more than 12V, your battery will die just slightly ahead of you.

 

Misconception 3:  "I can use car batteries in my battery bank, right?"

 

Bad idea. Most batteries that start engines (starter batteries) are designed to be drained only slightly (2 to 5%) during ignition, after which they're recharged by the vehicle's alternator. This type of battery fails to hold a charge when repeatedly drained and recharged (deep cycled).  A used automotive battery can fail after only a few deep cycles, while a new deep cycle battery can last for over 20 years. While it would be recommended to obtain deep cycle batteries now, deep cycle batteries could be acquired in the Aftertime by salvaging those found in boat wreckage (marine batteries), as well as ones residing in forklifts, golf carts and floor sweepers (traction batteries).

 

Misconception 4:  "I can erect a wind generator anywhere and it will generate power as long there's wind, right?"

 

A wind generator needs to be positioned in a carefully chosen location that satisifies stringent criteria:

a.  Dependable Wind.  Any location will have periods when there's no wind, but you want to choose a site where there is some wind most of the time.

b.  Sufficient Wind.  Even though the blades may be turning, most wind generators won't charge batteries in winds less than 7 mph.  Power output increases almost linearly in winds between 10 mph and 20 mph, after which power output levels off and actually decreases in wind speeds over 35 mph as overspeed controls come into play. 

c.  Excessive Wind. While not enough wind is a problem, too much of it is a bad thing, too.  In wind speeds greater than 35 mph, most wind generators have built-in overspeed controls that slow blade rotation to prevent damage.  This reduces power output and increases wear and tear.  While some wind generators cannot survive wind speeds above 50 mph, others can endure wind speeds up to 120 mph.

d.  Good Wind.  For optimum performance, a wind generator should be located far away and well above the nearest obstacle that could affect the quality of wind by introducing turbulence.  Some say a wind generator should be located at least 300 feet away and 30 feet above the nearest obstacle, while others suggest a horizontal distance of 200 feet and vertical height of 20 feet is satisfactory.  It all depends on the location.  An 80-foot tower is not unheard of.

 

WHERE TO BEGIN

 

So what's the best means of generating power in the Aftertime?  This depends on many factors including your geographic location, how much power you envision your group requiring, what your group's capabilities are and what your available resources are for obtaining energy system components. 

 

If you wish to have electrical power in the Aftertime, its essential that your survival group contain at least one person with sufficient knowledge to be capable of either salvaging the necessary parts in the Aftertime or building the group's renewable energy system from commercially available components right now.  Personally, I believe this also includes the ability to build a generator from raw materials since there's no assurance power generating devices, despite how carefully protected, will survive the Pole Shift.

 

For those interested in learning how to build wind generators from raw materials, I highly recommend Hugh Piggott's, A Wind Turbine Recipe Book. This book is also available for download. I endorse this book because I was successful building a wind generator using it's instructions. The book includes plans for building 4', 6', 8', 10', 12' and 14' rotor diameter wind generators and is available in English or metric units.

 

So if your intention is to generate power in the Aftertime, how do you intend to accomplish it? 

We need to start talking about this now.  After the 7 of 10 hits, it might be too late.

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Thank you Howard,  This is great information.  I will eventually put a solar installation together to run a small 800' home.  It would be nice to charge tools, electricty enough to run a fan and lighting on occasion.   A solar freezer would be nice.  I'm trying to learn about solar energy as much as possible but since this is all Greek to me these simple tips of longevity is much appreciated.

7W/230V LED plantelys

 

the above is a LED growlight that costs 350,- Danish Kroner, which currently translates to around $ 66.11 (!) ..

 

 

I, too, have been looking further into growing with LEDs, and am happy that within the past year, many new products have appeared that seem very worth the while. Also Petra´s encouraging photos from her indoor garden, grown all artificially have been very encouraging !  + Raven has good experience as well..she recommends a full-spectrum growlight (see the Aftertime Gardening blog by Gérard), but apparently you can come a long way with these blue/red lights

What I didn´t know was that the expected lifespan for a golf car battery was so much more than a marine battery ! Up till now, I´ve been sure that I´d be buying marine batteries - now I´m glad I postponed my decision !

LED grow lights will be enough/sufficient for indoor growing with the "new generation"-products that have appeared, lately...

 

www.kerychip.dk/silicium/images/7WLEDplantelys_1.jpg" alt="GrowingLight"/>www.kerychip.dk/silicium/images/7WLEDplantelys_2.jpg" alt="GrowingLight"/>

 

 

the following is google-translated from this page :  http://kerychip.dk/oscommerce_st/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=152...

7W/230V LED plantelys DKK.350, 00 


Click to enlarge 
7W/230V plant growth lighting, LED spot, E27fatning 

www.ing.dk">Read more about LED bulb nurseries www.ing.dk 

These LED bulbs are ideal to help plants grow 
in gardens or greenhouses. 

Benefits 
- No heat 
- Lower energy bill 
- Needs no ventilation 
- Fast growth of plants 
- Long life 

Indoor / outdoor use. 

- Power consumption: 7W 
- Power factor: more than 0.90 
- Supply voltage: 230V AC / 50Hz 
- Number of LED: 7 pcs. 
- Color Blue 460nm 1x1W + 6x1W red 630nm / 660nm 

- Luminous Flux 300 Lm 
- Lighting Zone 1 m (0.3 m) 
- Spreader light in 120 degrees angle. 
- Diameter (front): 93 mm 
- Length with mount: 80mm, 
- Socket: E27 
- Durability: 30,000 hours 

 
Delivery: 1-2 days 

  

About LED opvækstlys for plants 

Artificial plant growth light (LED Growing Lights) can 
used for plant growth in several ways: 
1. To give all the light a plant needs it to 
grow up.

2. To supplement sunlight, especially during the winter months when 
daylight hours are short. 
3. To increase the length of "daglysdag" to trigger a 
specific growth and / or flowering. 

Here are several reasons why you may choose to grow your 
vegetables by using LED lights. 
1 - you can not have a readily accessible sunny window 
or you have a kitchen window that gets good sun 
summer, but very little sun in winter. 
2 - you want to sprout your vegetables using 
artificial light. 
3 - you have a greenhouse where you want fast 
growing / germinating plants. 
4 - growing under artificial light gives you flexibility 
with respect to any confined space, and growth rates 
is not influenced by season 
5 - can also be used to grow vegetables to flower & 
fruit in very short periods. such as tomatoes, strawberries, etc. 

The advantages of artificial growth light with LED: 
Operating expenses 
The main advantage to using LEDs is the growth light 
lower operating costs. LED bulbs use up to 90% 
less

electricity than comparable fluorescent lamps. LED 
growth light can be used as either a primary light source or a 
additional light and the investment will pay itself 
after about 6 months. The life expectancy for a 
LED bulb growth 
is over 30,000 hours. This is 10 to 50 times longer 
than a typical fluorescent lamp. 
Tender Costs 
Although procurement costs may be higher than 
fluorescent sodium lamps, the real cost is 
often lower because you 
do not need a ballast. Unlike fluorescent tubes and 
metallic vapor lamps require a ballast to 
operate; 
LED lamps growth do not need a ballast. Neither have 
not the extra cost of purchasing a reflector; 
LEDs 
reflectors built into itself. 
Upbringing Season 
Since the Chlorophyll does not need to "fight" the unwanted light 
waves can LEDs be used 24 hours a day without 
damaging your plants. You can also use LED 
Growth Indicators to simply extend the daylight period 
4 / 6 hours during the winter months. This expands your 
growing season to 365 days a year. 
Benefits for the environment 
Switch to low energy, solid state lighting benefits 
environment. The low power requirements of LED light sources 
making them ideal for solar or wind powered installations, particularly in 
remote areas without connection to fixed 230V

supply. 
LEDs consume much less energy than standard 
bulb, leading to greatly reduced 
energy costs. 
LEDs also require far less energy to 
manufacture than other light sources, which limit their 
Environmental impact 
further. 
Broad spectrum artificial lights produce a lot of light waves 
which plants can not use efficiently. LED opvækstlys 
deliver only 
colors of light used by plants for efficient and 
healthy growth. 
Minimum heat 
LED vækslys are hot to the touch and will not burn young 
or delicate plants like other light sources do. The high 
heat generated by 
a typical halogen lamp or high-pressure sodium can reach 
from several hundred degrees to over 14 hundred degrees 
Celsius on bulb 
surface. This excess radiated heat output 
helping to grow room temperature greatly. 
Most LED growth light operate in just a few degrees above 
room temperature, thus reducing cooling 
costs. 
Watering 
Vandforbuget less if you use LEDs 
plants will transpire less. 
Humidity 
LED opvækstlys are ideal for plants like Salvia 
Divinorum and Ferns that have high humidity requirements. 

What do you need? 
Red and blue light is essential for plant growth. It is 
well known that chlorophyll, contained in the green 
leaves 
plants perform photosynthesis. Red and blue are the 
wavelengths that are most crucial for photosynthesis. 
Plants absorb Nene 
the blue light between 430-450 nm and the red between 650-670 
nm. 

Recent research suggests that the ideal balance is 92% 
Red LEDs and 8% blue LEDs. 
Blue light has a smaller influence than red light, so something 
between 1% and 20% of blue light can be chosen depending on 
your 
plants and their growth requirements. 

Red Light 
Red Light is the top of a plant light absorption spectrum 
(660nm) and it contributes to photosynthesis. Red light when 
combined with blue light, encourages flowering. It 
can also be used in higher doses to put timulere 
flowering 
seeding and fruiting. 
Blue light 
Blue light is responsible primarily for vegetative growth 
(Leaves). It is known that chlorophyll has the second distinct 
absorption 
peak near the blue light wavelengths (450 nm). 
The blue light is also necessary for morphologically healthy 
growing plants. There are also more sunlight energy in the blue- 
green wavelengths. 


Catalog on Tuesday 25 januar, 2011.

Hi Malou

I tried going through photos from the "Petras" in this ning.

I didnt specifically see an indoor garden..... Anyways, if it didnt take much, could you link us to the photos you were talking about...or which petra you were talking about?

 

thanks

regarding batteries, i think the rolls-surrette batteries are too much. They have a capacity of 350 - 400 amp-hours, at the very least. That is a lot of money invested in one unit...Not to mention, the size and weight of one those.

 

I suppose if one buys deep-cycle batteries tht are meant to last 7 years at a minimum. That would be a good place to start. I see crown sells  6V units that put out 200-300 amp-hours.

 

It might also be useful to talk about what one is going to use electricity, to think about how to use it efficiently.

Would you try to use electricity to grow vegetables or weeds?

It would a very good idea to get a good batch of earth worms growing, so that youre chickens can feed off of them. (There will be lots and lots of dead wood,etc around)

Actively trying to infest land around you with useful weeds,etc...

If you can reduce you electricity needs for carb-rich vegetables--- this will probably give you the biggest payout.

Also, invest in steel buckets, that you can use to heat water over a stove, for showering purposes.

 

A quote from zetatalk,

In those areas, which can be plotted by careful analysis of the new geography and factors to be considered, survivors will find vegetation struggling through, but crops will still be pathetic to nonexistent. These areas will find after 15 years, that the gloomy days are lightening up, and think this a return to normalcy, in their joy.

 

So I suppose we mustn't expect much from crops, even if away from volcanoes... Those of you, set to be in an elevation higher than today, are in for a blessing i guess....

 

Much depends on your group's capabilities.  For most, generating sufficient electricity to power grow lighting will simply not be an option.  However, those groups able to establish an off-grid energy system before the cataclysms  by utilizing wind and/or hydro generators stand the best chance of accomplishing this in the Aftertime.  Even then, the "broken link" theory still applies.  Thus, it is best to have as many different options as possible for acquiring food.

"For plants, light is life, for without it plants die.... indoor farming, in place prior to the cataclysms, should not rely on lighting from either the Sun or the utility companies. Both will in essence go out during the decades immediately following the cataclysms. Power for indoor lighting should rely on harnessing wind, or water flows, or other such mechanical generation that can be counted upon to be present after the cataclysms."  ZetaTalk

Hi Randy !

I was thinking of http://poleshift.ning.com/profile/PetraFaile who moved to Spain from Amsterdam at the beginning of the year, and I just went thru all postings of Lothar´s blog "What would you do if..", because I thought that this was where she posted them, but no...  I asked her specifically about her growing indoors, later again, and she said it worked well for her... I think she also used to have those photos on her MyPage, but I can´t find them anymore... 

 

Here is a photo of my tiny house-mill : It´s running beautifully... what I need to do now, is re-assemble it, - have the pole cut up in meter pieces for transportation + get batteries and inverter so I can set it up off grid when the time comes for that... I can run plenty of LED lights from a tiny "china-mill" like this...

randy said:

Hi Malou

I tried going through photos from the "Petras" in this ning.

I didnt specifically see an indoor garden..... Anyways, if it didnt take much, could you link us to the photos you were talking about...or which petra you were talking about?

 

thanks

:-)

Hi Petra !  Thanks for joining ! Yes, there you are !!

xxxxx

@Petra,

thx lol. I have some questions... In the first picture, is the steel beam the lamp is fixed to, just used for that? Or is it a roller, that automatically lets the grow light move back and forth? 

What light are you using? fluorescent lamps? Whats the dimensions of the grow space we're looking at? & Whats you're electricity usage for this?

 

@Lee,

Lee, imo, there may or may not be radio broadcasts...But I think we're over-estimating this. no? Everyone will be in a lot of shock, and trying to sort things through.  While everyone capable, will be tuning in looking for broadcasts; who will have the electricity to power broadcasts over a wide area? There may be people with a "mini-radio station" in their houses. But may only have a limited amount of electricity storage, and probably wont have a way of recharging, except through the grid. And even they might not have chickens or enough grains stored. And seeing that they're not prepared themselves will have their whole day filled trying to find food, or may perhaps even migrate....

 

Those who do have food stored, chickens, and the whole 9yards, will probably be a very few, i think. I suppose tht radios may be useful for snooping in on whats happening. Even then, I dont see someone devoting a lot of electricity for broadcasts meant for a wide area. Imho (very honest opinion), radios would primarily be helpful to communicate with other survival communities (which is beneficial to everyone).

But, what would you do if winter's about to come, and the people on the other side of the 2-way communication are desperate? --tough scenarios to face, indeed.

Radio communications in the Aftertime is a blog topic unto itself.  The Zetas recommended utilizing shortwave radios due to their low voltage requirement, they also don't require lofty antennas and they can transmit and receive signals from great distances.

The Zetas said CB radios are also included in this category, despite any inherent range limitations, since transmissions to and from good hearted STO communities will certainly receive a boost from those operating behind the scenes.  This does not mean, however, that we're exempt from educating ourselves on the many intricacies of High Frequency (HF) radio communication.

If you desire only to be able to listen, your solution is a rather simple task of selecting a hand crank radio that operates within the shortwave bands (3,000 to 30,000 kHz) such as the Kaito KA008.

If you wish to both receive and broadcast, you will require what is referred to as a HF transceiver and the learning curve increases substantially, as does the price tag.  The Icom IC-7200 is a solid choice for those new to this field and who are both ambitious and well-funded.  (A comprehensive listing of HF transceivers can be found here.)  

As Lee mentioned earlier, an operator's license (U.S, Canada, Australia) is legally required to transmit, however, this will become a negligible consideration when Earth Changes render such broadcast restrictions unenforceable.

Transmitting computer data across shortwave radio networks via dish to dish relays located high upon hilltops is also a possibility for those with sufficient expertise, another blog topic unto itself.

One aspect of off-grid powered communications that needs to be considered is Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).  Most charge controllers used to prevent the over-charging of your battery bank will generate EMI noise that can cause harmful interference to radio communications.  Thus, if your radio is hard-wired to your electrical grid, you will need to either locate it sufficiently beyond your charge controller's EMI range or utilize some form of EMI shielding, yet another blog topic.

Inevitably that is correct, even running shortwave radios will at best be a community effort or it just won't be feasible to do. However pioneer living can be trying to the point that having even some crude power generation for those long volcanic gloom & drizzle nights may be necessary, though I expect the vast majority will not have that luxury.

I ran a basic solar powered house for 9 years, during that time I learned deep cycle batteries at best last 7 to 8 years, but most likely 5 years max. However, despite all the nay saying about solar panels as a power generation option, we had cloudy, dark months in Oregon and still got power . . . around 5% to 10% of what would be the panel's max output on a fully sunny day(which was a lot of power). That 5 to 10 percent was a valuable trickle charge that still allowed careful use of a couple lights, or even a 2 hour movie (to illustrate the power consumption) on a night following a day of murky gloom. My bank of voltaic panels was small, having eight 60 watt panels. A bank of 5 times that size could yield a far better charge. Some folks have banks as large as their houses. That was in the early 90s, these days voltaic panels have been refined, with some "amorphous" panels being designed to charge even in low light conditions with greater efficiency.

But the rows of panels are only part of the formula, for the more important issue are the massive deep cycle batteries you need to have as well. I started with a bank of four Trojan L-16 lead/acid batteries hooked in sequence to run a 12 volt inverter (sorry won't explain all that, but the inverter takes battery power and converts it to standard AC like we use from any wall socket). I had to expand up to 8 batteries after the first 4 died from constant use, after they served for 6 years. 8 batteries taught me that the bigger your battery bank, the more power overall you will have to use, especially if you manage to reach maximum charge. At that point I had whole nights of computer use with a clunky desktop, and power sucking CRT monitor. My recommendation? at least 24 of those suckers in a separate, temperature controlled building (keeps the fumes at a distance). At 300 usd per battery that's not cheap.

Here's the thing though, a smaller system can run lights. You could spend weeks harvesting and gleaning enough material to make oil lamps, or candles, or even torches. Electric light can serve your settlement for the first couple years when it really counts. Electric light is a huge value.

Unless you have a microhydro generator continuously running off a stream of water nearby, forget any notions of using growlights for indoor gardening. . . that is so not gonna happen on battery power.

I lost my links to deep cycle marine battery dealers, but some of the companies I was looking at offered them dry, with the acid in a bottle for adding after shipping. This is how one would store auxiliary batteries to later replace ones that got old. Find a supplier of deep cycle batteries that are empty like that and you will be set. Best to store them unused anyhow since a 9 point quake will shorten their service lives considerably with all the agitation of the battery acid and fine lead plates inside the batteries. Once a battery is filled it must be maintained with electricity, it cannot be allowed to drop below 10% or even 20% of it's storage capacity or damage starts to occur that will kill the battery early(This applies to sealed batteries like Gel Pacs too, which I don't recommend since they want continuous charging and can't stand temperature swings). Those Trojan L-16s were the same basic tech used in the late 1800s! And they are among the best workhorses around for home power still.

So there you have it, panels, and batteries with a charge controller and an inverter, perhaps running strings of LED christmas lights for low voltage, evening lighting, and small battery recharging on radios or whatever (if any of that survives the maelstrom). Great plan for those with the money to invest in the components now. Wrap the electronic parts in faraday cages and bury them to ride out the shift for later.

Me? I lost that solar powered house in the mountains. I'm a poor man these days so I will join the rest of the masses living in the shadows cast by my campfire or lamps of rendered squirrel fat (do squirrels even have fat?), once the capacitors in my hand cranked flashlights can no longer hold a charge (yes those run out of charging capacity too). I doubt a glass jar with copper rods & homemade vinegar will offer more than a few bubbles to marvel at, so I'm stuck with No-tech solutions, lol. In the end most of us manage with what we have, and do just fine.

Walk & Reflect : thank you.

I too lost a solar & wind powered home over 20 years ago, but it worked and was great. I´m putting in as many extra hours as I possibly can to "get just that one extra battery", you know.. other than that, most of us who prepare or have already prepared accordingly to instructions here, will do allright.

Best to you !

Walk and Reflect, thanks for your balanced perspective!

As someone who currently lives off-grid on a small photo voltaic setup with 12v deep cycle gel-pak batteries and an 800W 240V sine-wave inverter (smooths or modulates the "square" wave electricity so it won't fry your electronics - something else to consider!) I have read with bemusement some of the preceding discussion about post shift electrical generation.

The question I have to ask is what do you want the power for? If you assess your BASIC needs you realise that you do not need 240V or 12V electricity to exist on this planet!

As David said -  this shift will be a technological reset and paradigm overhaul!

As Survival Girl pointed out, our day to day existence will be profoundly different and that includes our "entertainment" needs as well!

 My pre- shift preparations are not including power generation components  - we are putting our resources into strategic food and medicine, garden and livestock - I have yet to learn how to eat a battery!

We have been living off grid for 10 years now and use our solar power for:

lighting using 160 lumen 5W CR-15 LED lamps

water pressure headertank fill via a 6Amp water pressure pump

running an 800W sine wave inverter to recharge batteries for personal portable devices such as netbooks, DVD players, DS game consoles etc.

We have solar hot water and a slow combustion wood stove to boost the water

we cook with LNG but also have outside open fire cooking facilities.

My point is you can exist on low or no power - and when you are maintaining your own existence in a survival/recovery situation you stick to the basics! Most people will be following a solar driven routine of hunter gathering and foraging and rebuilding - but not as we know it! 

When the shift hits the fan we will need love, courage, strength, patience, intelligence and resilience - not 240V power!

 

Peace and Love,

 

Chris

My advice is invest in hand tools!

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